The chairmen of the Senate and House homeland security panels on Wednesday bashed a new report by their colleagues that is critical of intelligence gathering efforts at fusion centers.
Fusion centers were created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to serve as intelligence and information hubs that would connect state and local law enforcement officials with their federal counterparts. The aim was to share information between national and local counterterrorism officials in an effort to weave a tight web of intelligence and prevent future attacks.
But concern over the fusion centers has been prevalent on Capitol Hill since they were created under the George W. Bush administration. Lawmakers have primarily worried about whether the federal money given to centers is properly overseen and spent, and whether the civil liberties of Americans are being protected by the fusion centers in their intelligence gathering efforts.
The ... investigation found that the fusion centers often produced irrelevant, useless or inappropriate intelligence reporting to DHS, and many produced no intelligence reporting whatsoever, the report found.
The 107-page report, released Tuesday night, has caused a stir in Washington D.C. and among law enforcement organizations throughout the country.
Source: The Hill, http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/260025-homeland-security-commitee-chairs-slam-senate-report